Bom OA 699/2009
CENTRAL ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL,
BOMBAY BENCH, MUMBAI.
ORIGINAL APPLICATION No.699/2009
Dated this Wednesday, the 12th day of June, 2013.
CORAM: HON'BLE SMT. LEENA MEHENDALE, MEMBER (A)
HON'BLE SMT. CHAMELI MAJUMDAR, MEMBER (J)
Shri Sidhharth Sambhaji Sansare
R/at R.No.451, Hudko Housing
Dist-Nasik 423 104. ... Applicant
(By Advocate Shri S.V. Marne)
1. Union of India, through
The General Manager,
Central Railway, C.S.T.,
Mumbai 400 001.
2. The Additional Divisional
Central Railway, Bhusawal
3. The Sr. Divisional Operating
Central Railway, Bhusawal
4. The Divisional Operating Manager,
Bhusawal Division, Bhusawal,
5. Shri Ashok Ganpat Nikam,
Chalisgaon Railway Station,
Tal. Chalisgaon, Dist. Jalgaon. ... Respondents
(By Advocate Shri V.S. Masurkar)
O R D E R
Per: Smt. Leena Mehendale, Member(A)
This Original Application is filed on 10.11.2009 under Section 19 of the Administrative Tribunal, 1985 against the order of compulsory retirement from service after a Departmental enquiry and Appellate enquiry on the ground of taking bribe.
2. The brief facts of the case are that the applicant was given a charge-sheet for major penalty dated 27.10.2006 Annexure A-15 and the charge read as follows:-
“That the said Shri Siddhartha Sambhaji Sansare, Head TNC Nandgaon while working under SS/Nandgaon committed misconduct and neglect of duty in that he received certain remuneration i.e. Rs.5,000/- from Smt. Tholabai Kachru wife of Shri Kachru Pandu Mahale for getting employment for their son on medical grounds by his official influence. Later, since he did not fulfill his promise, as desired by about returning of said money he paid back Rs.4000/- only and Rs.1000/- is still pending.
By the above of commission and omission, he failed to maintain absolute integrity and acted deliberately in a manner unbecoming of railway servant thereby contravened the provision of Rule No.3.1(i),(ii) & (iii) of Railway Service Conduct Rules 1966.”
3. A detailed enquiry was conducted by appointing an Inquiry Officer. As seen by order dated 14.12.2005 Annexure A-9 the Inquiry Officer held that the charge was proved. Thereafter Disciplinary Authority considered the report of the Inquiry Officer and passed an order dated 24.07.2009 Annexure A-3 imposing a penalty of compulsory retirement. The applicant filed an appeal through his representation dated 19.10.2007 and Appellate Authority has passed an order dated 18.07.2008 confirming the penalty of compulsory retirement imposed by the Disciplinary Authority. Thereafter, a revision petition was also considered and rejected on 24.07.2009.
4. The applicant has put forward a reason as to why a departmental inquiry was held against him. He claims that in the year 2005 while he was posted as Head TNC (Head Train Number Clerk) at Nandgaon Station and was elected as Working Committee Member of National Railway Mazdoor Union, there was one Shri Ashok Ganpat Nikam, Shunting Master, Nandgaon who was also elected as Branch President of All India SC/ST Railway Employees Association and had enmity with the applicant. Around same time one Smt.Tolabai Kacharu Mahale had given a loan of Rs.5,000/- to the applicant. Thus, this money was taken by him from the lady not as a bribe for getting her son a compassionate appointment in the Railways, but merely as a loan. However, this gave an opportunity to Shri Ashok Ganpat Nikam to harass him through the lady. He also made a complaint to Respondent No.4 against the said Shri Ashok Ganpat Nikam on 27.5.2005 (Annexure A-4) under which he had himself mentioned the transaction of loan taken from the lady. Later on, he refunded an amount of Rs.4,000/- to the said lady, but the said Shri Ashok Ganpat Nikam continued to make complaint applications against him to the higher authorities. In this connection, the applicant refers to (Annexure A-9) which is a copy of the preliminary inquiry against the said Shri Ashok Ganpat Nikam. Another preliminary inquiry was done by one Shri K. Venugopalan, Chief Vigilance Inspector (CVI) before whom also the applicant stated to have taken a loan of Rs.5000/- from the said lady (Annexure A-13). Later, he also refunded the remaining amount of Rs.1,000/- to the lady.
5. Against this background, the Inquiry Officer has held that the charge of accepting the sum of Rs.5,000/- from the said lady for securing compassionate appointment to her son was proved. Subsequently, his representation before the Disciplinary Authority the Appellate Authority as well as the Revision Authority were also rejected.
6. The respondents mainly relied on the fact that the applicant was given full opportunity before the Inquiry Officer. The Inquiry Officer has carefully considered all the evidence before him whether it was documentary evidence or evidence tendered by the Prosecution Witness or the written defence brief of the applicant and whether the charge is proved. The main contention of the applicant that Shri Ashok Nikam who is a rival union leader was harassing the applicant or that he threatened Smt. Tulabai Kacharu Mahale to give evidence against the applicant are irrelevant. It is necessary to ensure that the Junior officials are not allowed to create an impression that they can persuade a Competent Authority to give appointments. In the present case the allegation is that the applicant took money from Smt. Tulabai by creating an impression that he could secure compassionate appointment for her family member. Hence the respondents have to take the matter as grave.
7. We have gone through all the documents and find that the enquiry cannot be interfered at this stage. What we have to examine by way of judicial review is whether proper procedure was followed, sufficient opportunity was given to the applicant to defend himself and whether the appreciation of evidence is not grossly shocking. The representation of the applicant have also been considered at the level of Disciplinary Authority, Appellate Authority and the Revision Authority and none of them have found it necessary to have different conclusion than the one arrived at by the Inquiry Officer.
8. In view of this, Original Application is dismissed. No order as to costs.
(Smt. Chameli Majumdar) (Smt. Leena Mehendale)